Sergio Perez has denied crashing on purpose in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying to hinder Formula 1 teammate Max Verstappen, saying "everyone makes mistakes." Suggestions that Perez did deliberately crash during the second Q3 laps in Monaco has been rife this week after Verstappen refused to let Perez through in Brazil to aid in his push for P2 in the Drivers' Championship, saying at the time that he "had his reasons." It stems from Perez spinning at Portier during the Monaco qualifying session and blocking the track, causing a red flag and early end to the fight for pole, with the Mexican taking third as a result and Verstappen's potential pole lap being abandoned and leaving him fourth. Come race day, a bungled strategy from Ferrari allowed Perez to undercut both cars and inherit the lead as Verstappen came home third. When asked if he had crashed deliberately, Perez rejected the claim.
Perez rejects crash claim
"It's not like it was done on purpose, everyone makes mistakes in Monaco," he responded when asked by RacingNews365.com if he had done exactly that. "You have all the information and you can go and see it already. "I nearly crashed already into Turn 1, so everyone makes mistakes in Monaco, or in general places in qualifying." There had been speculation that Perez had admitted to bosses Christian Horner and Helmut Marko that he had actually crashed deliberately, but Perez was keen to paint such claims as 'rumours'. "That's just speculation from the media out there, and just people creating rumours," he said. "As I said, we are all aware of what's going on within the team, and we want to keep everything within the team. "I am chasing the laptime, you can review the whole lap, and I am just giving it everything as it is the last run in Q3. "People just make mistakes when you're really chasing the laptime."
Cheating claims "irrelevant"
When asked if any claims of 'cheating' had any effect, Perez was keen to brandish them as "irrelevant". "I think it's just part of the sport and the speculation people like to make," he explained. "To me, it happened so many races ago, but it is totally irrelevant [now]. "I am thinking about this weekend, and making sure that the team is in good spirits, because we've had a tremendous season, it has been a hell of a year for Red Bull. "I don't want any of this to take any enjoyment away from any of the guys in my team and Max and myself have a very strong responsibility to keep the team united going forward."